Theodor Mommsen's influential multi-volume work, first published between 1871 and 1888, is a systematic treatment of the intricate workings of the Roman state. The renowned German scholar proposed an original and sometimes controversial understanding of Roman institutions, based around the categories of nineteenth-century constitutional law. The Romans themselves never actually codified their complicated body of law, but by applying a historical approach to describe the development of Roman law Mommsen succeeds in making it more accessible to the reader. He systematises the many diverse legal elements upon which the Roman constitution was based and offers a coherent reading of it. In Volume 1 Mommsen focuses on the system of local government and describes in detail how it functioned. He explains the protection offered by the Pontifex maximus and the authority held by the civil and criminal courts, as well as the civil rights given to each community.
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Part I. Die Magistratur: 1. Die Auspicien der Magistrate; 2. Amt und Amtsgewalt; 3. Die einzelnen magistratischen Rechte; 4. Magistratisches Verbietungsrecht und magistratische Intercession; 5. Magistratische Emolumente; 6. Die Dienerschaft der Beamten; 7. Insignien und Ehrenrechte der fungirenden Magistrate; 8. Lebenslängliche magistratische Ehrenrechte; 9. Qualification für die Magistratur; 10. Antritt und Rücktritt.